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A Must-Read for Employees: Prevent Unusual Muscle Fatigue and Maintain Spine Health

Workers in Hong Kong often work long hours under high pressure, causing their muscles to get all tensed up. On top of that, their salaries often fail to match inflation rates, leading to increased workloads and disregard for their physical well-being. It's no surprise that chronic muscle pain is a common issue for Hong Kong's workforce, but most people often ignore the pain and seek medical attention only when the pain becomes unbearable.


Continuous muscle fibre contraction can cause local ischemia, leading to a vicious cycle of pain

Muscles are attached to bones via tendons, and their main function is to allow for various body movements through contractions. Our body’s proper posture is maintained by contracting the muscles on either side of the spine.

Many people think that having neck and shoulder stiffness and pain from working long hours is normal, but that’s not true. Muscle pain is mostly caused by poor posture, overworking, maintaining the same position or repeating the same movement for too long. Office workers, teachers, computer users, chefs, and porters are at a higher risk. For office workers, their muscle soreness usually presents as chronic muscle pain in the neck, shoulders, and lower back.


Chronic muscle pain occurs when you overuse your muscles or maintain improper postures for a long time, causing small injuries in the muscles. The muscle fibres will then contract continuously to protect themselves, leading to local ischemia and pain. The pain triggers another protective muscle contraction, forming a vicious cycle that gradually develops into chronic muscle pain. This type of pain usually occurs within 24-48 hours after muscle activity and lasts 1-3 days, taking about a week to fully recover. So, many workers only feel the pain after work or the next day.

Seek medical help when the pain persists for over 24 hours

Muscles are located around the head, neck, torso, and limbs, making them crucial for maintaining body movement and posture. Although there are various pain relief patches, ointments, and massage products available on the market to alleviate muscle fatigue, the real way to solve and prevent muscle soreness is to correct improper work posture, especially sitting, standing, and lifting postures.

For example, it is recommended to take a break from work every 45 minutes and walk around to avoid maintaining the same position for too long and allow the spine and muscles to rest, reducing the chance of injury. If muscle soreness persists for more than 24 hours, it's important to get checked as it could be a sign of spinal problems. For example, pain caused by poor posture, joint wear and tear or past injuries in some patients could actually be a symptom of spinal subluxation. Therefore, patients should consult healthcare professionals and have a detailed examination of their muscle health.

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Source: NYMG

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